LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — All Isaiah Phillips could think about was food.
The Park Hill junior went to the starting line for the Suburban Conference Gold Division race on Saturday, Oct. 6.
At 10:45 a.m., the official fired the gun to signal the start of the race. That was about 15 minutes before Phillips hoped to be back home.
“I didn’t eat breakfast, I thought I would run at nine, so I didn’t bring food,” he said. “I figured would be home by 11. We ran at 10:45 a.m. and I could hear my stomach in my ears.”
A two-hour rain delay slowed the start of the race but the officials at Lee’s Summit North High School waited out a steady rain and got an open window to get two races in – down from the scheduled four – that put the JV and varsity runners together.
Phillips and teammate Dan Foster, a sophomore, both fared well in the course and secured all-conference honors for the Trojans, who took sixth place in the boys standings.
Both runners set personal records on the muddy course. Phillips crossed in 16:57.20 to take 15th, shaving about 2 ½ seconds off his best.
Foster meanwhile took 12th and crossed in 16:51.00, edging Ray-Pec’s Tyler Swift, who finished in 16:51.10. That was nearly 30 seconds faster than his previous lowest time.
“The whole time I was staring at Dan thinking where did he come from,” Phillips said. “Not long ago we were running and start off the first mile and mile two he was in the dust. This time, he was passing me. I thought we were about 30 to 35 ish (in the standings) so I was focusing on Dan. I was blown away by how good he was doing.”
Transfer Leslie MeKinnon took 20th to earn the final all-conference spot for the girls squad. The junior ran 20:23.80. The next highest finisher was Brooklyn Niebaumn, who took 24th.
Park Hill took sixth place with 142 points.